Being an Instagram Follower
The importance of engaging with your followers
It is important to shift your focus from the number of followers to the number of engagements that you have with your followers, because it ultimately helps you to build relationships that last. When you engage with your followers you build trust between your brand (course, club, staff, company, etc.) and your followers. Low engagement is often a red flag to potential new followers and indicates a lack of trust and authority, while a higher engagement rate builds not only trust but relationships. It lets them know that you are ‘real’ and that you care!
Engaging with followers on Instagram is so important going forward! This is a way for you to connect with your clients, and a way for you to gain new potential clients. Instagram is a great tool for you to direct your followers to your facility–whether it be in person or online, and create long lasting relationships.
Tip #1 - Instagram Story Stickers
One of the best ways that you can engage with your followers by starting conversations is in your story. Instagram Story stickers are a great way to encourage your followers to share their opinions and experiences with you, which in turn, will help create a loyal following that feels connected to your brand.
A few sticker ideas for your IG Story are:
The Question Sticker - It’s a great way to get to know your audience. You could ask them what their favorite hole is on your course, favorite day or time of day to golf, what is their favorite golf ball, etc.
Poll and Vote Stickers - Your followers’ opinion matters, there’s no better way to boost engagement and hear from your audience than by using poll or vote stickers. Remember to keep it simple. You could have a couple different hats or shirts and ask which one is their favorite, Beer or Soda, Summer or Fall Golf, Sunrise or Twilight Round, etc.
Tip #2 - Write Longer Captions
Another great way to increase engagement is to write longer captions. On most social media platforms, the shorter a post, the more engagement it gets. The most engaged-with Facebook posts are around 40 characters! But Instagram is a different story.
One of the factors that affects how your Instagram post performs is the algorithm is “time spent on post.” So an easy way to increase the time people spend looking at your post is by writing an engaging (and long) caption, around 220 words. Maybe not ideal every time, but certainly every now and then.
When you write a longer caption you can break up the sections of the post with a simple bullet or emoji. This is a great opportunity to open up to your audience about your brand and business goals, your services, your mission statement, or anything else that will keep them informed that can’t be said in a one-liner and a few emojis!
Tip #3 - Optimize Every Instagram Post and Story
Whether the post is in your story or in your feed you should be putting time and effort into optimizing your posts.
Every time you post on Instagram, you should think about including the following three things to boost your exposure and engagement:
Include a mention sticker (story) or add a tag (feed)
When you’re posting about other brands, businesses, players, or reposting some user-generated content (UCG), it’s important that you mention their account.
Not only will the account be notified that you have mentioned them, but it goes a long way when it comes to building relationships and a community. That account may, in turn, repost and thank you with a shout-out for the mention, or even share it with their followers.
Add a location
If you’re looking improve your engagement and boost your exposure, you need to start tagging locations in our posts. You can use a searchable location sticker in your stories and add the physical location on your post in your feed.
So how does it work exactly? For example if you’re posting a story from a golf tournament in San Diego, you can tag the location with a sticker, and your story might appear in that location’s Instagram stories or posts.
Don’t forget to add hashtags
We know the importance of adding hashtags to your post captions and comments, but are you adding them to your Instagram story too? Sometimes hashtag stickers can clutter up and ruin the aesthetic of the Instagram story that you want to post, but thankfully there are ways around it.
When you want to include hashtags in your Instagram Stories, you can type out your hashtags (you can include up to 10), you can either make them the same color as the background to hide the hashtags, or pinch the text to make them smaller, and then place a GIF or image sticker over the hashtag text so it’s perfectly hidden!
Reply to your DMs and Comments
This one may seem simple, but so many brands ignore their DMs and comments on their feed. Or worse, they turn off commenting completely!
Make sure you spend time listening and responding to both positive and negative feedback. By doing this you can show that you care and provide customer assistance on Instagram too.
It is important to respond to all comments on Instagram for these two top reasons:
Instagram’s Algorithm: The way that Instagram works is that the more engagement you create, the higher the chance people have of seeing your posts. By simply responding to and liking your followers’ comments, you are increasing the post’s chance of being seen by others. This is extremely important for the success of your business’ Instagram!
Customer Awareness & Appreciation: By replying to your followers on Instagram it shows that you care about your clients, that your business is up to date with social media, and above all lets your clients and potential clients know that you are there for them.
Whether you’re commenting on someone else’s post or responding to a comment on your own post make sure you are authentic. Sometimes the thing that pops in your head first is the most natural and genuine thing you could say, so trust your intuition while staying in your brands voice, and maintain professionalism, just as you would at your facility. If a follower compliments your post, thank them! When a follower asks a question, answer them the best you can. If they simply comment with an emoji, reply with a smiley face or a heart to show you appreciate their comment.
The simple act of showing your followers, that you’re listening to them is going to create an online conversation and help build that community that you want. The more likes, comments, DMs, and shares your posts get, the more likely the algorithm will rank it as quality content and it could even get displayed to wider audiences on the Explore page.
Finding People to Follow
You can find new people to follow and engage with by doing these simple things:
If it is at your golf course and or club search that location and see who is visiting, golfing and tagging your location in their post. Once you find them, give them a follow, like a few of their posts and make a comment on one of their posts. You might be surprised (but shouldn’t be) when they follow you back, like one of your posts, and possibly respond to your comment.
If you want to find people that are posting about your course simply search a few hashtags. You might be surprised to see how many people are posting about their experiences while golfing at your facility.
Look through someone's captions, like, and comment.
You can find new people to follow simply by looking at your followers captions, likes, and comments. Maybe it’s their weekly golfing buddy, golf instructor, family, or friends that would also be a good fit for your brand.
Have you checked your followers list recently?
Maybe someone gave you a follow a while back and you haven’t had time to check out their account, but it’s someone that follows and engages with you. Why not see who follows them? You might add a few new friends to your account and when you follow the best practices for engaging, which are first following, then liking, and leaving a comment, they might possibly give you a follow back.
Look at who your friends, followers, and favorite Instagrammers are following.
One of our favorite ways to find new people to follow on Instagram is to look through who our friends and favorite Instagrammers are following, because it’s easy to see that we have the same taste, are into similar things (like golf), and most likely have similar values and beliefs.
Use the geotargeting feature.
One of the great things about Instagram is the ability to tag your location for your photos, videos, and IG stories, because it makes it a great way to find people near you or with the same interests as your brand (local bar or restaurant, golf store, other golf courses near you, etc.)